Meet the Leadership Series: DiAne Reed (Marquette Transportation Finance)
Q&A with DiAne Reed, Senior Vice President/National Sales Manager, Marquette Transportation Finance
Get to know UMB’s leadership a little better.
Tell us about yourself.
I am originally from the Northwest, but when I moved to Charlotte, N.C. in 1989 I fell in love with the sunshine and fewer rainy days. I enjoy traveling—my favorite place is anywhere I can unplug and just live in the moment. I have been all over the world on 14 different cruises. I also enjoy spending time with my five grandchildren.
My work is my passion. Every day, I work to do what’s best for our clients and I love being able to provide the right financing solution for each business. I joined Marquette Transportation Finance (MTF)‡ in 2002 and assumed my duties as senior vice president, national sales manager in 2005. I am responsible for the overall marketing and sales activities of the company and I have more than 30 years of finance sales and sales management experience.
What drew you to the transportation industry?
A national trucking company gave me an opportunity to learn the trucking industry inside and out. I started in dispatch, moved to production and then switched to sales and marketing. I was active in launching that company’s 48 State Interstate Authority—expanding their presence coast to coast. They encouraged everyone to know all aspects of the business, so I was able to roll up my sleeves and embrace the trucking industry. From there, I advanced into the niche of transportation finance which I have been committed to for more than 25 years.
Today the financial needs of the trucking industry are my passion. I always say I have diesel in my blood!
How has the industry changed since you began your career?
When I began my career, everything was in paper form—now companies have high-tech operations, including computerized logs. Now, shippers and carriers know the exact location of their freight, 24/7. Technology has also allowed for improved focus on security and safety, offering higher protection for both truck drivers and the people they share the road with.
I also see more women interested in entering the trucking industry every day. When I started in the industry, 1 in 100 employees were women, but within the last decade women are working to break the glass ceiling and are not afraid to enter fields known to be male-dominated, like trucking and finance.
Another aspect of trucking that has changed is the availability of working capital. The recent credit crunch affecting financial markets is filtering its way down to the availability of working capital financing to trucking companies. In response to financial turmoil, bank are tightening their credit standards and becoming more restrictive. Fortunately for trucking companies, alternative sources of financing, such as MTF, exist in the marketplace.
What are your transportation affiliations, and why are these connections important?
I’m actively involved in many associations including the American Trucking Association (ATA) ‡, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) ‡, Women In Trucking (WIT) ‡, Commercial Finance Association (CFA) ‡, Turnaround Management Association (TMA) ‡ and the International Factoring Association (IFA) ‡. I am also a participant of the TCA communications and image committee.
These associations allow members to stay abreast of industry changes and challenges. And, they offer me a platform to participate in and encourage the continuing improvement of the transportation brand. Interacting with dedicated people in the industry is always inspiring. With the networking opportunities, I can discuss MTF and our values, as well as communicate the way we do business by partnering with clients from start to finish. We are a relationship-based business and we put a lot of emphasis on integrity and ethics.
Define accounts receivable (AR) financing
The most important thing to know about AR financing is that it is not debt. MTF funds and purchases AR accounts, which means we provide financing based on your current level of business. An AR line is assessed on several criteria:
- The monthly dollar volume of purchases
- The average AR turn (how long an invoice remains outstanding)
- The number of invoices processed by MTF on a monthly basis
- Risk associated with the transaction
The key difference between AR financing and traditional financing is that we don’t base our decisions on the credit or financial stability of our client. Rather, we base our decisions on the financial stability of our client’s customer base.
What makes Marquette Transportation Finance unique?
MTF is a leading provider of accounts receivable financing focused solely on the trucking industry. Our financing helps trucking companies fund growth, acquisitions and turnarounds, and helps them improve liquidity. A major advantage of lending to a niche market is the opportunity to completely understand the business, from invoicing requirements and cash cycles, to reasons for periodic over-advance requests, and current news and trends. Knowing your client’s business helps foster a strong relationship, and our entire business model is built on relationships.
The MTF team knows the trucking industry and can tailor a program to you and your business. We like to say that we offer the best of both worlds because we are backed by the financial strength of UMB Bank, but are small enough to provide you with a highly responsive, flexible and knowledgeable service staff who can handle any of your specific needs.
Describe your typical client—what do they need, why are they looking for alternative financing and why do they consider MTF?
Typically MTF clients aren’t eligible for traditional bank financing, or the bank facility is deficient in meeting the borrower’s financing requirements due to one or more of the following business characteristics:
- Start-up or rapid growth
- Acquisition and recapitalizations
- Needs bridge financing In the midst of a turnaround
- Customer concentrations
- Working capital starved
- Negative net worth
- Debtor-in-possession (Chapter 11)
- Highly leveraged
Every client receives supportive accounting services to help facilitate payments and steady receivables. These services are provided by a full back office team of individuals who are familiar with the transportation world.
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